I recently heard a story of a guy who went to an interview. The entire interview went great until the employer asked him one last question: “What’s your MySpace page address?” Right there in the interview, the employer took a peek through this individual’s MySpace page. Seem outrageous? Yeah, but this type of snooping has become common, even if it doesn’t happen right during the interview.
More and more, employers are ‘Goggling’ prospective employees to learn more about them. And for a while now, consumers have done the same thing before purchasing a product or doing business with a new company. As a business owner, do you know what your prospects find when they search for you on the web?
If you’re like most businesses, a simple search of your company name yields your website in the #1 organic spot. But what shows up in the #2, #3, etc. spots? Hopefully, it’s something positive like press releases or positive reviews of your business. In many cases though, you may find that negative press shows up somewhere on the first page. Imaging if one of your customers searched for your website and caught a glimpse of a couple of negative reviews that show up in the search results. Do you want to address the same concerns every time a new customer comes across a concerning review? Let’s face it; even the best companies have unhappy customers.
As more and more business-rating websites come online, the potential for other web properties to show up for a query of your name increases. So what can you do about it?
Search Engine Reputation Management
Search engine reputation management is not a new search strategy but is definitely a fast-growing one. It’s taken some time for individuals and business alike to take their online reputations seriously. It’s becoming more of the norm to research products before we buy them and businesses are starting to catch on.
So how does SEO reputation management work? First of all, it’s not about going around the web and making false positive customers reviews about your own products and services. There’s already enough garbage on the internet and there’s no reason to add to it. It’s also not about magically making websites disappear.
Online reputation management is first and foremost about identifying the negative press about your company and fixing it. This involves assessing the situation and developing a plan for addressing negative press. This may mean replying to negative forum posts or consumer groups and doing everything possible to turn the negative comments into positive ones. It may also mean creating content or websites addressing major concerns about your business. A result of online reputation management is improved customer service by actually responding to unhappy customers. For the situations where you can’t make customers happy, and this happens, reputation management is about putting yourself in a better position to promote the positive things about your business.
Search engine reputation management should be an important part of any brand's marketing strategy. Web 2.0, the ‘social Web,’ has transformed the way consumers get information. Online reputation already has a profound effect on businesses success and will continue to do so in the future.